Types Of Hair: Andre Walker System

by Samantha on December 2, 2011 · 55 comments

Types Of Hair: Andre Walker System

Hey You Guys! Now, in my article here, I said I would do an article on my hair routine. Before that, I want to let you guys know about various types of hair, why they’re different, and how to deal with each type.

Types Of Hair Andre Walker System

The hair type classification system I’ll be referring to is the Andre Walker system. No, you don’t need to open a new tab and start typing “Andre Walker system” in the search box. I’ll tell you what you need to know.

These are the types of hair:

  • Type 1.
  • Type 2a, 2b, 2c.
  • Type 3a, 3b, 3c.
  • Type 4a, 4b.

Okay, I agree this sounds like exactly the thing we all are so glad to get away from after high school, but I promise it isn’t that bad. In fact, once you identify your hair type, it becomes second nature to you to talk about the various types.

Type 1:

Poker straight hair

This type refers to straight hair. Stick-straight. Poker straight. Iron-rod straight. Call it what you will, it is a line. A line segment, really. I’m sure you get it by now. If you have type 1 hair, then this article is not for you. Not to say, you can’t continue reading! :toothygrin:

Type 2:

Wavy hair

Type 2 refers to wavy hair. This is a very common type of hair the world over.  If you look at the picture above, you can see the difference in the tightness of the curl pattern. Type 2a has a very loose ‘S’ pattern. Type 2b has the ‘S’ more closely formed. Type 2c has the ‘S’ pretty defined.

Shakira

Type 2a: This hair is fine and is easier to handle. Can be easily styled as well.
Type 2b: This hair is a bit rougher, and needs more effort to style. It also tends to frizz.
Type 2c: This hair is not as smooth as type 2b. It takes even more effort to style, and frizzes easily without the right handling and/or products.

Curly Hair

What To Do If You Have Type 2 Hair:

• Don’t use products that will weigh your hair down. This type of hair has a tendency to go limp and flat very easily, and it needs help with the voluminizing part of it all.
• Don’t ever brush or comb your hair when it’s dry. If it is a bit too limp, then gently separate it with your fingers, making sure to not disturb the curl pattern too much.
• If your hair is still limp, then use product only on the length and the ends of your hair, but not on the roots. This will help the roots to get a fuller look, thus creating the illusion of volume.

Type 3:

This hair is curly hair.

Curly blonde hair

Type 3 hair is actual curly hair. Definite curls are visible (not waves like in type 2 hair), and it is usually very voluminous. It may look like it’s rough and coarse, but it is actually very soft and smooth.

Type 3a:

This hair shows defined curls, but is looser than type 3b. In the picture above, the front hair is actually styled using doodles, and that’s why it is so tight. Take a look at the rest of her hair (eg., the hair at the neck on her left side) to see what I’m talking about.

Type 3b:

Tighter curls than type 3a. Focus on the curl that falls on her left hand. That’s what I’m talking about.

Type 3c:

Actually, this type is a mere cross of type 3b and type 4 hair. It is not kinky even though it may look so, and there is a tighter looping pattern. Also, it tends to stand upward when compared to type 3a and type 3b hair.

I couldn’t find better pictures, so we’ll have to make do with these. In order to properly see the difference between the various curl patterns, you need pictures with all the models sporting the same length of hair, especially if you’re a newbie to the whole thing. Still, these are pretty good indicators of what I’m trying to say here.

Type 3 hair is generally very “springy.”  It does give off those unmistakeable vibes that say “Pull me! Bring me up and down! Now!!!” If you pull on a coil of type 3 hair, it will spring back into place. Pretty cool huh?

What I do, having Type 3 hair myself? My hair routine article coming up!

Type 4:

This is kinky hair.

Kinky Hair

This hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very fragile. It is more prone to damage from styling, brushing, combing, blow-drying, flat-ironing, you name it.

Type 4a:

It has an S pattern when stretched out and held, just like Type 3 hair.

Type 4b:

It has a ‘Z’ pattern; i.e. the hair bends at sharp angles and not in gentle curves.

Type 4 hair has the amazing ability to feel like cotton candy :love: :love: :love: !!! This kind of hair needs more moisture than other types, and will benefit from regular deep conditioning treatments.

Now how do you find out which type you are?

No, don’t tell me because you got a perm yesterday and you hair looks like Taylor Swift’s now, you have Type 2 hair. This is what you should do to determine your natural hair type, because that’s what you’ll need to go by:

1. After a shower (with or without conditioner being used, it doesn’t really matter), comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb. Comb it fully, thoroughly, absolutely.
2. Let your hair AIR DRY. Don’t use a blow-dryer (with or without diffuser, I don’t care) or a towel to rub your hair (and by the way, never rub your hair with a towel. Merely was for explanatory purposes :tongue: ) Just let it be as it is.
3. Now, you’ll notice as it dries, that your hair does either one of these things – it springs up into coils, it just stays put, or it forms into nice waves.
4. You’re left with almost dry hair now, aren’t you? Now go ahead, and read the types again, and figure out what your hair type is.

Notes:

1. The longer the hair is, the more weight it has, so the more it is weighed down. Thus, as your hair grows, the curl pattern can appear looser and can start to fall downward, even if it used to stay upward when it was shorter.
2. Not everyone has only one sub-type of hair. In fact, very few people have solely one sub-type of hair on their heads. Most people have a mix of Type 2 and Type 3, and there is the occasional mix of Type 3 and Type 4 and did I mention it is possible to have Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4 hair all on the same head?
3. It’s a common misconception that hair type depends upon race. This is not true. Both, whites and blacks alike can have Type 4 hair. Also, Indians have all types of hair, right from Type 1, all the way to Type 4. For instance, I’m Indian, of Portuguese descent, and I have Type 3/Type 4 hair.

My Hair Type:

Now, my hair is naturally and majorly Type 3c. However, I do have certain areas of my head where it is Type 4. There is no Type 2 hair on my head, though.  The back of my head has a mix of Type 3b and Type 3c, and the rest of my head is pure 3c. Of course, I can loosen my curl pattern and/or tighten it at will, using varied methods.

To see my hair, take a look at my other article (the link is posted above).

I hope you guys found this post informative. I’m working on my hair routine article currently, which is going a tad slow (due to my inability to be home at normal time, which in turn is due to my various commitments, both work-related and personal). I’ll finish it as soon as I can, and will send it in then.

I cannot just jump into my hair routine article without first explaining various intricacies in relation to it; hence this article.

Take care you guys, and much love!

Samantha

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Hairstyle: Hairstyles for Long Hair
Skin and Hair Care Tips for Monsoons
Hair Color: More on Hair Coloring
Sunsilk Hair Fall Solution Shampoo and Conditioner
9 Hair Care Tips for Long Hair for Indian Women
Rose Water for Hair Care
8 Quick Hair Care Tips
Hibiscus for Hair Care
Hair Care 4: Tips for Dry Hair
Hair Care: The Body Shop New Eco-Conscious Rainforest Hair Care
My Skin Care and Hair Care Routine
Hair Care Tips for Strong Healthy Hair
Hair Care : Do It Yourself Hair Protein Pack
Hair Care 3: Tips for Healthy Hair
5 Awesome DIY Hair Care Tips
Hair Care 2: Shampoo and Conditioner
Winter Skin and Hair Care Tips
Hair Care Tips for Color-Treated Hair
Split Hair Ends: Home Remedies and Treatment
6 Steps to a Happy Head

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Nissy December 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Mine is 2a :D

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Fab December 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Superb Article!!!! So very helpful!! :thanks: Can’t wait to wash my hair to see how it is after drying!! Please do more hair care articles – one on hair products suitable for each hair type, that are available in the Indian market. Again, love you for this!! :puppy:

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Fab December 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Oops, the last emoticon was supposed to be :puchhi:

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Samantha December 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Aww… :puchhi: to you too! I like the doggie also :toothygrin: :toothygrin:

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Samantha December 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Thank you, Fab! :)

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Aru December 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm

2b.

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jomol December 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm
jomol December 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Great article Samantha…I am type 2 + type 3 :mirror: :mirror: :mirror: :mirror: :mirror: :mirror: :mirror: :mirror:

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Samantha December 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Thank you Jomol :toothygrin:

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Shajeela December 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Mine is 3c & 4. My parents have combination of 3a and 3b end result is i hate the wealth they provided me. Hence end up combing and oiling it and more i do more frizzy. :pigtail: :pigtail: .. i some how hate it

I love ur curls samantha :heart: :heart: :heart: :dance: :dance: good to see but hard to maintain….

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Samantha December 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Thank you Shajeela! :))
I do just the opposite! I never comb or oil my hair :))
And contrary to what many people think, my hair is extremely low-maintenance. :yahoo:

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Geet December 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Mine is 2b!!!!!!!!!… Awesomeeee articleee!!! :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:

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Samantha December 2, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Thank you Geet! :))

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nidhi November 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm

mines 2b

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nidhi November 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Mine is 2b going towards 2c

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Vid December 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

mine is 2a :)) nice article samantha

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Samantha December 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Thank you Vid! :))

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praseena December 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm

absolutely useful article! :yes: :yes:

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Samantha December 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thank you, Praseena! :))

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Parita December 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Awesome article Samantha and very informative! :waytogo: I have straight hair but its not exactly poker straight but naturally straight :toothygrin: but my hair becomes wavy sometimes too especially the ends..what kind of hair do i have? ?:)

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Samantha December 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm

That will be a loose form of 2a, Parita :)
Thank you!

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Deb December 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Lovely article Sam, very knowledge you are :)

My hair is a type 3b on my hair canopy(crown layer) and like a 3a in the middle and 2c on my nape :)

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Thank you Deb! You do great articles too! I need to try out your conditioner recipe soon! :))

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Agnibanya December 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm

My hair type is 1, and I still read the article and loved it!! :yes:

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Thank you, Agnibanya!! :))

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Preeti December 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Mine is 2b going towards 2c but weirdly its never gone flat (except in extremely hot and dry weather conditions like when I was in Rajasthan once in summer). Else its always seems frizzy and wild! :p Any amount of conditioner/deep conditioner/serum can never make it go limp! And I run far far away from any kind of volumizing products!! :nababana: Hmm…. ?:)

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Same here! :)) I sun far far away from any volumizing product too! :toothygrin:
But then again, this is a generic classification. There are always exceptions! :))

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oopsii December 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I am 2a mostly….but it sometyms behaves like 2b , and on really good days…like type 1 :) ….my hair type seems to depend a lot on weather conditions and the hair products I use :shock:

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Most of us have hair that seems like it depends on weather etc. Our natural hair, though (after a shower, just left to airdry) as I mentioned above is the one that’s the real one :))

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keirti December 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm

me type 2a n type 2b combo… nice n informative article samantha… O:) O:) O:) these days m more concerned twrds hair care routine… love to read articles on them… :happydance: :happydance: :happydance: m waiting for your following articles desperately… :waiting: :waiting: :waiting: :waiting: :waiting: :waiting: :waiting:

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Thank you Keirti! :))

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Jabberwocky December 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Ahem. :silly: Well, my natural hair is type 1 with a hint of type 2 a but my current permed version is type 2 b + 2c. :silly: :silly: Great article, Samantha! I had no idea about this system. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :toothygrin:

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Gargi December 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm

wow u got them permed! :inlove: :inlove:
I always wanted to get my hair permed, but then scared of the side effects :(
I hate my straight boring hair! :|

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Thank you, Jabberwocky :toothygrin:

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Rati December 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm

super awesome artciel, sam. i was so waiting to read this one from you. :))almost have type 1 hiar and in most case sthe hair dresses just suggets me to blow dry my hair . nothing stays :waaa: :waaa: :waaa: :waaa: or i need tons of product to keep them styled. so i mostly rely on hair cuts. :((

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Gargi December 3, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I have same hair type as yours, they’re not Iron-hot straight, but yeah pretty straight. its somewhere between 1 and 2a.
And seriously NOTHING stays. Its so annoyingly stubborn!! :(

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Thank you, Rati! :))
That’s one good thing about my hair, I guess! I can go poker-staright if I want to, or even way afro, which I love :toothygrin:

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Rati December 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm

actually there is nothing between 1 and 2a :silly: :silly: ?

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Then that hair is “a cross between 1 and 2a”. :-D
The thing with this system is that even though all hair will not fall strictly into these subtypes, it isn’t really possible to have a gazillion types for the many types of hair we humans grow out of our heads! :silly: Even though that would be really cool. Imagine saying “My hair is 453a.i.11″ :dumb:

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Arja December 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm

hehe i was wondering the same ^^ :toothygrin:

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Jinal December 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm

mine is between type 2a but very loose waves…like almost straight they appear….now I don’t know where I come :toothygrin:

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Again, cross between 1 and 2a. This isn’t a rigid classification :haanji:

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Poo December 3, 2011 at 1:01 am

hey sam.. very nice articlee..my hair type is 2a towards 1.. waiting for ur hair care routine article

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thank you Poo :))

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Gaea December 3, 2011 at 2:26 am

nice one Samantha!
O i love your curls! i wanted a little girl with such curls but have a naughty boy with oily slick straight hair lol.

anyways i hate the world that thinks hair = straight silky! esp the supposedly learned salonists. And get so furious when they go ‘o ur hair is sooo curly’ and i am like ‘have u seen curls? and do you know frizz and the diff types of hair?!’

dont they teach this at hair schools?!

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Thank you Gaea! :))
You have a naughty boy :toothygrin:
I know how frustrating it is that all the ‘professionals’ think that hair is straight. Period. And anything other than that ‘needs’ to be made ‘proper’.
And unfortunately no. At beauty school, no much importance is given to curly hair. This is because the schools teach students what they require in order to pass the state board license exams. Unless the boards step up and make this part of their syllabus, beauty schools won’t teach it.
Also, the beauty school instructors themselves do not know how to handle curly hair. All they’ll say is “Cut curly hair not wet, but damp, and try not to put too much tension on the section. And cut it in layers.”
I remember last year, I thought I would kind of ‘revamp’ my whole look, and so I went to this supposed hair expert, and I asked what I could do with my hair that would give me a whole new look. He took one look at it, and said, “Oh, you could go in for smoothening.” And I was like, “No, with my NATURAL hair”. And he actually said, “Oh, first we’ll make it proper and staright, and then we’ll see”.
I just walked out of there! :pissedoff:

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Charu December 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Thanks…really informative. :thumbsup: Mine is 2b. :toothygrin: hard to maintain in the right condition the whole day! :|

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Samantha December 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Thank you, Charu! :)

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div February 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm

i’m a type 1 which is probably the most boring kind of hair imaginable :waaa: i’m not a big fan of curlers and no product i use gives it any volume. any advice samantha ???

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Shruti February 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm

a very informative article..started following this blog very recently..!! and its super awesome..very informative and also makes it easier to make a shopping list which is increasing as i type :wink: :tongue:

coming back to this article, my hair is (as a lot of people did mention) between 1 & 2…its oily (as bad as i wash today, sleep and get up with oily hair :nababana: :waaa: ) and thin..and i think quite damaged as well (cuz they r sort of dented waves in between that do not look good if left to dry on their own :(( :(( )..i do straighten them for occasions and at times blow dry in winters (specifically) but its going worse and they don’t stay styled as well..i just can’t find the right products..though I’m using rich feel products right now which are suiting but nothing in conditioners or heat protectant serum that help..iv tried a lot of conditioners but nothing suits…and having a very oily scalp i don’t even use too much conditioner !! i know this article is quite old now..but i hope u can help in suggesting some products..!!
thank you O:)

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Samantha May 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I love this blog too, Shruti! :D
I’m sorry I have absolutely no suggestions in mind for oily hair, as my hair is not a bit oily. I suggest you look through product reviews on this blog using the search bar, or you can even mail IMBB and get your question asked in the ‘Ask IMBB’ feature.

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sweta May 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I am 2C… nice post… :)

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Samantha May 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Thank you, Sweta! :)

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khush June 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm

my hairs falls in category of 2a …..can be easily styled and keep the style nicely touchwood and fine and have loose S shape…yey i find my hair type….

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